Security at home: what does good burglary protection look like??

Helpful burglary protection: A burglar is filmed by a video camera and the event is transmitted to a smartphone

Photo: © geralt, license: creative commons CC0 1.0, source: pixabay.Com

It happens every two minutes in germany: an attempted burglary. At least that's what they say. In addition, the media report that the number of burglaries is increasing. But in fact, in 2018, for the first time, the statistic is again below 100.000 reported cases down. This is the lowest number in over 20 years! The reason for this could be tougher criminal prosecutions, but also greater investment in security technology. But it's a big field, and not every alarm system is really helpful. We therefore give you tips on which burglary protection really makes sense.

Where and when are burglaries actually committed?

Various cliches about burglars have become fixed in people's minds due to a wide variety of assumptions. On the basis of which they make decisions about the protection of your living space. But this is dangerous, because the thieves have not stood still! They also move with the times and so their approach is constantly evolving. This results in the following picture.

Burglaries only occur at night!

That has not been true for a long time. In the meantime, most burglaries take place in broad daylight, tending to occur even in the after-work hours. The reason for this is that most thieves speculate on the fact that no one is at home during this period anyway – often rightly so!

Burglaries boom during the vacation season!

This is also a misconception. The horror of coming home after two weeks at the seaside and finding the apartment in total chaos is now outdated. In fact, burglaries tend to have their heyday during the darker months of the year. Here, too, we see that an abandoned house is not necessarily more vulnerable than one where the occupants are present.

Homeowners must take special precautions!

Unfortunately, another fallacy. Nowadays, apartment buildings or rental houses are almost a more attractive target for burglars. That's because this is where they benefit from increasing anonymity. Where there are multiple renters who often don't really know each other anymore either, a stranger is hardly noticeable. In addition, it is not always the expensive luxury facility that attracts, which is often well secured anyway. As is well known, small livestock also makes crap.

An alarm system is installed on a yellow house wall with a red signal light

Are alarm systems the best protection against burglary??

We can see that even if the number of burglaries is decreasing, it can happen to anyone. And even if the property damage or. Losses can be quickly compensated by insurance – victims of such acts often suffer trauma and no longer feel safe. An alarm system can prevent this feeling under circumstances and/or. Reduce it.

What is an alarm system?

Usually this is a system of several components. This includes a central control unit, which is the heart of the whole system. In addition, various sensors, z.B. Motion detectors, smoke detectors, glass breakage sensors, etc. Video cameras can also be integrated.

Finally there are the alarm transmitters. This can be in the form of a loud, acoustic signal (siren), but it can also be connected to a kind of reporting system, which forwards the information about the house to the resident or a central unit and thus enables a timely response.

What types of alarm systems are there?

In general, you should not put the safety of your belongings in the metaphorical hands of any alarm system. Make sure that the system is certified according to DIN EN 45011. There are three different classes:

  • Class A: for residential buildings and people
  • Class B: for commercial buildings, public buildings and residential buildings with increased danger
  • Class C: like class B but with very high risk

In addition, you can choose the type of information transmission in your system. This means that there are radio systems, but also wired ones. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages.

Radio alarm system:

  • Components do not have to be connected by wire, but communicate via radio
  • Thus installation will be very fast
  • Acquisition is somewhat more expensive for it
  • Radio systems can be well retrofitted and even move with it
  • Have a high flexibility, can be extended as needed
  • But may need more accessories (radio repeater)
  • Sensors etc. Are powered by batteries, which require regular maintenance

Wire alarm system:

  • Has low acquisition costs
  • Is more complicated to install, (cables must be laid)
  • Therefore more suitable for conversion or. New buildings
  • Has a lower maintenance requirement, as no batteries are needed
  • High resistance to interference, as signals are transmitted in a well-protected manner
  • Usually a good economy

There are now also hybrid variants that combine the properties of both wire and radio alarm systems.

Who should install an alarm system?

Certainly there are very inexpensive variants in the building market, which entice with a simple assembly. But for an alarm system to really do its job reliably, it is better to let professionals do the work. Because there are some things to consider.

The placement of the various elements alone is not without its difficulties. Above all, the central unit should be installed in a location that is not directly visible. Also the other components should be better hidden. The reason: burglars can otherwise try to deactivate the system or at least bypass the appropriate sensors.

The nice thing is that just radio systems can score in the meantime with their installation. This needs mostly only half, maximally whole day and causes hardly dirt or other restrictions. This also significantly reduces costs. If one decides for a wire alarm system the cables must be laid accordingly in the walls. It is also worthwhile to hire a specialist for this, because it is a great challenge to do it yourself.

But is an alarm system useful now?

This question can not be answered in a general way. Various studies and statistics can be interpreted either way. While in general nobody can be 100% safe and an unprotected house may well be interpreted as an invitation for many a criminal, an alarm system can in turn be particularly promising. Because who tries to secure himself with one, he surely has something worth stealing. Or?

Fact is: an alarm system prevents in the rarest cases a burglary. Video camera, light or signal tones only deter untrained perpetrators, if at all. This hardly stops professionals. An alarm system should therefore be considered more as a danger alarm. A silent alarm including notification of a control center often helps more. Because in this way the perpetrators can perhaps still be caught in the act.

However, complementary sensors can quickly detect and contain not only burglaries, but also fires or water damage. From all this results then mostly also a good belly feeling, which holds with entrance. And this is sometimes worth more than anything else.

This burglary protection is recommended

So while alarm systems do not so much prevent burglaries as indicate them, there are measures you can take to install real burglary protection. The most common ways that thieves still use today are doors and windows, which are rudely opened with the tools crowbar and screwdriver. Mechanical security devices help.

Secure doors

In order for a door to withstand a burglary attempt, it itself must have some properties, as must the frame. Everything must be firmly installed and stable in itself. The recommended resistance class for doors is RC 2, which is tested to ensure that the door leaf, lock, frame and fittings as a whole do not have any weak points. Other measures recommended by the police can be these:

  • Cylinder locks (mortise locks) as multipoint locks tested/certified according to DIN 18251 from class 3 or as single locks according to DIN 18251 in classes 4 and 5 – both types of locks ideally with hook bolts
  • Profile cylinder tested/certified according to DIN 18252 in cylinder class 1 (= 21 resp. Old: P2) and in cylinder class 2 (= 82 or. Old: P3) with drilling protection (BS)
  • Protective fitting tested/certified according to DIN 18257 in resistance class ES 1, ES 2 or ES 3 with cylinder cover (ZA) as pull protection; alternative: profile cylinder with drilling and pull protection (BZ))
  • Additional locks, cross-bolt locks, multi-point locks with locking bar as well as hinge side guards and hinges tested/certified according to DIN 18104 part 1

Protect windows

Since windows tend not to be smashed but levered out, this is one of the points of attack that must be protected against. The installed window elements should therefore be tested and certified according to DIN EN 1627 if possible. For the private sector, a resistance class of RC 2 or RC 3 is recommended. The following measures are also advisable:

  • Retrofit already installed windows with screw-on security devices and mushroom-headed hardware
  • Screw-on security should be certified according to DIN 18104 part 1, mushroom head fitting according to DIN 18104 part 2
  • Screw-on security devices are best installed on the hinge and handle side. Handle side
  • Lockable window handles with DIN 18267 test and resistance class of FG-S-1

Good to know: three useful points in conclusion

For those who are still not quite sure whether and which burglary protection they should now choose, we have compiled three more interesting facts here. Because for tenants other conditions apply, which u.U. Quite high costs can turn out partly smaller, than thought and completely free assistance can receive you likewise!

Burglary protection for tenants

The recommended measures are more difficult to implement for apartment tenants than for owners. Because no unauthorized structural changes may be carried out. These already include the aforementioned bars. Who attaches importance therefore to a good burglary protection, should turn first to the landlord, possibly also united as a whole house community.

Funding opportunities for security measures

Whether it's special doors and windows or a complete alarm system – depending on the size of the property, it can quickly add up to a lot of money. Here, however, there is the option to apply for a subsidy from kfw. Since march 2017, the credit institution has increased the limits from the former 2.000 euro reduced to only 500 euro. This makes burglary protection much more affordable.

Counseling centers for everyone

Have you been burgled yourself and want to prevent it from happening again if possible? Or does it affect a neighbor and you now want to protect your home as a precautionary measure?? Are you perhaps currently building and naturally want a safe house? In all these cases, it is worthwhile going to one of the more than 260 police advice centers throughout germany. Here you can make appointments with specially trained professionals and receive on the spot tips and recommendations on how to implement optimal burglary protection in the future.

Such consultations are by the way usually free of charge! To perceive them is therefore worthwhile certainly. In the same way, the burglary protection, because it does not make your security less. You can only win.